LOS ANGELES (CN) – A 21-year-old Southern Californian faces up to 25 years in federal prison after admitting Monday that he tried to go to Syria to join ISIS, a terrorist group.
Adam Dandach pleaded guilty to providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization and making a false statement in his passport application. He bought an airline ticket to fly from John Wayne International Airport to Istanbul, and FBI agents arrested him when he showed up at the Orange County airport. He admitted his final destination was Syria.
“He explained that he wished to live under the control of ISIL and intended to undergo weapons training,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement announcing the plea deal, in which Dandach was represented by counsel.
He lied in the application that he had lost his passport, though actually a family member had taken it from him when he said he wanted to go to Syria, prosecutors said.
He faces up to 15 years for the terrorism charge and 10 years for the false statement at his Jan. 11, 2016 sentencing.
Dandach, who gave himself an Arabic moniker which is listed in his plea deal, is a 2012 graduate of El Modena High School in Orange.
His attorney, Pal Lengyel Leahu, told the Orange County Register that Dandach is a “naïve” young man who “wanted to help widows and orphans.”
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